Back when the CZ4A Lancer Evolution X hit the scene in late 2007, fans accepted it with mixed emotions. Sure, the new-generation car progressed the design into the new millennium, but when first test drives revealed a definite lack of grunt and a more mature power delivery compared to the EVO IX,a lot of people thought the tuning world lost one of its most important members. The new all-aluminum 4B11 was instantly blamed for not being as strong as the bulletproof 4G63, but the reality was that Mitsubishi preferred to create a very reliable engine. Tuners quickly discovered that with little work it could be made to perform rather well—after getting around the new advanced engine management system, that is. HKS, as always, is at the forefront of new parts development and kept its EVO X project on the quiet side as the company came up with the required parts to make the engine perform well. The idea from the beginning at HKS was to first create a complete kit that would allow owners to extract a great deal more performance from their cars, but at the same time keep theEVO X as user-friendly as possible. The result is the CZ200S, HKS’s first response to the new Lancer Evolution.
For a full-fledged HKS project car, the CZ200S Evolution X looks pretty stock—exterior-wise, at least. Up front, the factory bumper remains, but it’s joined by a pair of extended Ralliart brake air ducts for the two side intakes. A carbon splitter has been fitted under the front to help the Lancer cut through the air at speed and to develop some downforce. To help the splitter a pair of carbon canards were fitted, something that of late has become rather popular in the JDM scene. However, in some cases, due to their protuberance they are not deemed road legal, for obvious reasons. Everything else remains stock except for the addition of an Esprit dry-carbon spoiler, which has now been replaced with a one-off HKS spoiler sporting a very aggressive design with twin center-mounted stays. As we saw at the Hyper Meeting event in Tsukuba, the looks of the CZ200S have also been spiced up with a new lightweight carbon trunklid, which was being built during our visit at HKS. The car sits much lower and flusher with the 18-inch Advan RS wheels, thanks to a prototype Hipermax III suspension kit. The adjustability of the dampers, coupled with the stiffer springs allows the suspension to be fine-tuned for track use but also retain that composure when being used on regular roads. Behind the Advan Neova AD08 shod RSs is probably the most sought-after brake kit to come out of Japan. The six-pot front Endless monoblock calipers have been forged to give the stiffest and lightest possible construction. These, along with the compact two-piece, six-pot rear calipers are mated to Endless floating rotors, which have been slotted with the signature E-mark.
For a car primarily built for time attack, we were surprised to see the interior has been left intact. The two stock front Recaro seats have been replaced with much lighter Bride Zeta-III carbon-Kevlar racing bucket seats, joined by the obligatory Takata racing harnesses. This car is driven by Nobuteru Taniguchi, so it’s not surprising to see his favorite steering wheel fitted, a classic Nardi leather wheel (very popular with the drift crowd). To keep an eye on boost control, the HKS EVC 5electronic boost controller module is fitted to the carbon look dash and is joined by an HKS Circuit Attack Counter positioned on top of the driver-side center air vent. The stock instrumentation has been left untouched, but because this car is under hard development, a race-type LCD dash unit has been fitted, which allows the HKS mechanics to log data as the car is driven on track. Even an LED shift light has been thrown in! As the final piece of electronics, the HKS V-Cam controller has been positioned on the passenger side of the transmission tunnel, with its LCD display looking up at the driver. An HKS signature shifter knob completes the interior upgrades.
After seeing the CZ200S in detail inside and out, it was time for the interesting bits under the hood. The stock aluminum hood hides the first stage of tuning that HKS has done to the new 4B11 motor. Looking at it, however, you would never think it could actually produce the quoted 579 hp at 7440 rpm because most of the interesting and main parts of the modifications are hidden away.
The first thing HKS did was to open up the engine and take a good look at all the components that make it up. They came to a conclusion that the aluminum block was strong enough to take some serious power, but the internals would need a bit of an upgrade to sustain high levels of stress and last in time. So a set of forged oversized pistons were made up and fitted along with a quartet of prototype H-section connecting rods. The stock crank was deemed solid enough, plus they also wanted to see just how much abuse it could actually be subjected to before something showed signs of stress or wear. The head was not touched but was bolted down onto the block together with a HKS 1.2mm metal head gasket to ensure the best possible seal.
Based on the GT3240 turbine, HKS came up with a special application for the 4B11, a kit designed to bolt onto the stock headers. We saw the complete kit on display at the Hyper Meeting event, where we went to check out NOB drive the CZ200S around the track. An HKS GTII external wastegate takes care of boost control, which is limited to a massive 28 psi on its highest setting. An HKS downpipe joins with the prototype titanium Silent Hyper exhaust system, which does sound pretty mean out on track, despite what the name suggests.
An aluminum intake pipe connects to the compressor and allows it to suck in air cleaned by the HKS foam filter. Once compressed, the charge is sent over and across the engine by the impossibly long piping down to the front-mounted HKS R-Type intercooler. Form here, another HKS bit of piping connects to the stock inlet plenum. The awkward positioning of the 4B11 makes it very hard to work around the long piping, as it sits exactly 180 degrees rotated compared to the old 4G63. A higher flowing pump supplies the HKS billet fuel rail and then the four 1000cc/min injectors which have to work hard to provide enough fuel for the hair-raising 28 psi of boost. An HKS F-Con V Pro ECU takes care of engine management, while the V-Cam controller has been programmed to provide optimal valve timing for a good spread of torque. This peaks out at 491 ft-lbs of torque developed at 4700 rpm, allowing the EVO X to shoot out of second gear corners with impressive urgency. To handle the increased output of the engine a HKS twin-plate Light Action clutch has been fitted and joins the HKS prototype 6-speed strengthened transmission, which for obvious reasons, we were not given much additional information on.
Seeing the car perform at the Hyper Meeting event at Tsukuba proved that HKS’s work has really paid off as the car was constantly lapping under the revered 1-minute barrier. So far, the record set by Taniguchi is of a 59.495-second lap, done on the Advan Neova AD08 street tires. With a set of semi-slicks, we are sure NOB could easily take the CZ200S into the 58-second bracket, in the current state of tune. HKS will be working hard to come up with many more tuning parts for the 4B11 in the course of 2009 and we are sure this EVO X will get significantly quicker. So much for thinking the 4B11 can’t live up to the 4G63. It’s companies like HKS that allow our passion to evolve as cars progress, so hats off to them for never stopping their search for perfection.
HKS 4B11 forged pistons, HKS 4B11 H-section connecting rods (prototype), HKS GT3240 54T A/R0.73 full turbine kit, HKS GTII external wastegate, HKS turbine adapter, HKS stainless steel downpipe, HKS Silent Hyper one-off exhaust system, HKS Valcon Plus V Cam Kit Pro (256º IN, 248º EX); HKS 1.2 mm metal head gasket. HKS bypass pipe, HKS chamber pipe (polished), HKS polished suction pipe, HKS Racing Suction Reloaded foam filter, HKS R-Type Intercooler, HKS polished intercooler piping, upgraded fuel pump, HKS fuel rail, HKS 1000cc/min injectors, HKS cam covers with carbon spark plug cover
HKS F-Con V Pro ECU
HKS racing 6-speed transmission (prototype), HKS LA-type twin plate clutch w/ lightweight flywheel
HKS Hipermax III Sport prototype version
Wheels, Tires and Brakes
Yokohama Advan Racing RS 18x10 +25 front, +35 rear, Yokohama Advan Neova AD-08 265/35R18 tires, Endless monoblock forged 6-pot calipers (f), 2-piece mini 6-pot calipers (r), Endless 2-piece E-slotted rotors (f/r), Endless brake pads all around
Ralliart front brake ducts, HKS carbon canards, HKS carbon front under spoiler, Esprit dry carbon rear GT wing/HKS dry carbon rear wing (now fitted)
Bride Zeta III carbon-Kevlar racing bucket seats, Takata racing harnesses, Nardi leather steering wheel, HKS shift knob, HKS EVC 5 boost controller, HKS Circuit Attack Counter lap timer, HKS A/F Knock Amp meter, data logger